Barrier-free housing: A future trend

In Germany, more than a third of citizens already belong to the group of over-50s. Politics as well as economy cannot ignore this target group so easily. In other words, there is a need to react with barrier-free living space that allows an autonomous life even in old age.

Currently, the number of easily accessible apartments is still far too low. Thus, for project developers and investors great opportunities arise now in this real estate segment: They have to meet the increasing demand - quickly. Source: pexels.com

The market for barrier-free residential property in Germany gains momentum. Improved health care and increased life expectancy nowadays often allows to live an active life even in old age. The society is getting older and older and thus the demand for suitable residential real estate is increasing. The demand for the construction of new senior-friendly, barrier-free residential real estate is currently greater than ever.

Despite initial projects, it is unlikely that current construction activities will be able to meet the rapidly rising demand in just a few years. Owners who are dependent on the accessibility of their home already, will suffer from this supply gap now or in the near future.

Barrier-free construction – identifying individual needs
Barrier-free construction requires comprehensive design concepts. Already the infrastructure must provide barrier-free accessibility in the nearby public space, in which all things of everyday life are easy to reach and within walking distance. Of course, one’s own four walls need to be adapted to the individual needs of each individual resident. Barrier-free construction plays the central role here.

In the past, barrier-free housing concepts were considered practical, but mostly unattractive. Today, this view is long outdated. This is mostly due to general developments in the residential property market, such as open floor plans and latest technical developments, which allow a combination of technology and the highest aesthetic standards.

High demand, few offers
Currently, the supply of barrier-free housing is lagging behind the great demand. According to experts, at least 1.6 million suitable apartments are missing right now. In view of the aging population, this number will even increase in the coming years. One possible response to the supply gap could be a regulated quota for barrier-free construction, such as has already been specified in the Berlin State Building Code. The Berlin Building Code provides that in newly constructed apartment buildings at least one third of the apartments need be barrier-free, from 2020 this act will be expanded to half of all apartments. This might be just a drop in the ocean, but is still an important political signal for the future.

Project developers react
It is apparent that the market reacts slowly but steadily to the high demand. More and more owner-occupiers and investors are aware of the importance of barrier-free accessibility and its future prospects. Whether to be able to live in the apartment for as long as possible or to enlarge the circle of potential tenants. For most project developers, it is therefore not negotiable to design a large part of apartments barrier-free, especially since the costs of new construction are very low, at about one percent depending on the equipment.

Also the Red Rock Group increasingly focuses on the approach of senior-friendly, barrier-free housing or self-determined care facilities with individual apartments for its residents. The unique approach to the construction of retirement homes and special living concepts is becoming more and more important in day-to-day business. In Red Rock properties, senior citizens can enjoy the comfort of their own home and choose from a variety of services based on their individual care needs. It is precisely this type of senior-friendly residential real estate that is a ground-breaking future trend in the eyes of Red Rock.

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